Is there an association among low untreated serum lipid levels, anger, and hazardous driving?

Karina W. Davidson, S. Sethu K. Reddy, Patrick McGrath, David Zitner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Anger and hazardous driving were explored in two studies for their possible explanatory role in the low cholesterol-violent mortality association. In Study 1, we obtained fasting blood samples and indices of anger and driving habits from 102 healthy young adults. Among men (but not women), lower low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels were associated with significantly higher anger (r = -.41, p < .01) and unsafe driving habits (r = -.30, p < .05), and although total cholesterol levels were correlated in the predicted direction, these were not significant. In Study 2, 78 healthy young men completed the same measures, and this time, both lower total and LDL-cholesterol were significantly related to increased anger and dangerous driving. Implications of these findings are discussed as are possible avenues for future research. Further scrutiny of the components of serum cholesterol and their relation to psychological factors may aid us in better understanding the reasons why men are at increased risk for hazardous behavior and violent death.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)321-336
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Behavioral Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1996
Externally publishedYes


  • Anger
  • Hazardous behavior
  • Low cholesterol
  • Sex differences


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